“Come to the cookhouse door, boys”: the long-hoped-for end of this weary and cruel struggle

Burghfield celebrated the end of the war.

Peace Celebrations

These took place on Saturday, July 26th, in fine weather and were a great success. The church bells were rung early in the morning, and at intervals afterwards. At 2.15 there was a short service, with a sermon by the Rector, in the church, attended by practically all the children from our four schools, over 260 of them, with the teachers, as well as many mothers and a number of ex-service men. The church inside was like a flower garden with the happy throng of young folk and their bright flags and banners and pretty dresses; but it was an earnest service too! The Burghfield Brass Band, under ex-bandsman W J Hathaway, late of the Royal Berks, met the long procession on the way from church, and played them into Hillfields lower park [the home of Mr Willink], where tents and a marquee (in preparation for the approaching Flower Show) had already been pitched, and were available in case of rain – which never came.

Sports for the children began at once, and at 4 o’clock they sat down on the grass to a good tea, after which the men’s sports were carried on till 5 o’clock, when 106 ex-service men, residents in Burghfield, were summoned by the now familiar “Come to the cookhouse door, boys” call, to an excellent meat tea in the marquee (provided by Mrs Sherval). Mr Willink said a few words of welcome at the end of the meal; but the fullest speech was well made by Mr Lousley, Chairman of the memorial and Celebrations Committee, later in the evening at the distribution of the sports prizes by Mrs Geoffrey Chance, when he gave a clear explanation of the aims and methods of the Committee, and thanked all those who had done so much for the Festival (except himself, who had as usual done his share and more), especially Mr H D Higgs (the Hon. Sec.), Mr Hannington, for conveying the Pinge Wood children; and Major Chance, Lieut. Searies, and Messrs E Lousley, Page, G Pembroke and Sheppard, with other teachers, as active members of the Sports Sub-Committee.

The day ended with dancing on rather rough sun-baked ground – but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Indeed there were no complaints all day, and it was a real pleasure to see so many friends and neighbours celebrating in such good fashion the long-hoped-for end of this weary and cruel struggle – yet those were not forgotten over whose lives the war has cast an abiding shadow. The Hillfields grounds were open during the day.

Burghfield parish magazine, September 1919 (D/EX725/4)

Advertisements

The war on its spiritual side

Burghfield was ready for the National Mission, as it mourned the deaths of two more of its young men.

THE NATIONAL MISSION OF REPENTANCE AND HOPE

Before this is in the hands of our readers we shall all have had the opportunity of hearing “God’s Message to England” from the lips of our special Messenger….

A copy of our Missioner’s letter, together with a list of the special services, has been distributed (I hope) to every house in the parish, but we think it will be well to preserve a copy of the letter in the magazine as a permanent record.

Missioner’s Letter

My dear friends

Our Bishop has given me the great privilege, and laid upon me the great responsibility, of carrying the message of the National Mission to you in Burghfield…

High and low, rich and poor, priest and people, all alike need the message; all alike must be humble, and ready to listen. As with the War, so with this; we are all in it, and none must stand aloof. Indeed it is the War, the War on its spiritual side, the War of a people of God against sin, selfishness, misery, and all that takes the joy and innocence out of a people’s life. And I, though a sinful man not worthy of my office, come to you in God’s name, bearing His word, declaring His promise, bringing His gifts, to help you to do our part at home for our dear native land, as the lads are doing it in other ways abroad.

Yours faithfully in Christ Jesus our Lord

Allen E. Dams

ROLL OF HONOUR

We regret to announce two more deaths during the past month.

1. William Vockins, aged 19, of Pinge Wood. He was severely wounded in the head and sent home to a London hospital, where he died on October 4th. On the previous day the poor boy, helped by his nurse, wrote a few lines to his mother to say that he felt a little better! He was confirmed in our church in March 1913.

2. Frank Pearse, aged 25, the elder son of our district nurse, was killed instantaneously by a shell in France on October 3rd. We remember him as an upright and manly young fellow, a member of our choir and a communicant. He had been in France for 14 months. His mother wishes to express her appreciation of all the sympathy she has rceieved from so many parishioners and friends. R.I.P.

Burghfield parish magazine, November 1916 (D/EX725/3)